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Mali will do everything to recover lost territory: minister

EXCLUSIVE IMAGES A still from a video shows Islamist fighters walking in the streets of Gao on June 27, 2012. (AFP PHOTO)

ALGIERS: Mali will do everything it can to recover the vast northern territory seized by Tuareg separatists and now mainly controlled by Islamist extremists, the country's foreign minister told AFP Monday.

"We will do everything to recover our territory," Sadio Lamine Sow said, speaking at the end of a two-day visit to Algeria where he held talks with the Algerian authorities.

A March 22 coup in Mali eased the way for Tuareg separatist rebels to seize an area in the north larger than France, which they consider their homeland.

However the previously unknown Ansar Dine group, fighting on their flanks later seized the upper hand.

Openly allied with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, they have since pushed the Tuareg rebels from all positions of power.

The international community fears the vast desert area will become a new haven for terrorist activity and the Islamists have threatened any country that joins a possible military intervention force in Mali.

 

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